BIOFOREVER

BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes

Summary

Modern chemical building blocks and materials are primarily produced from fossil resources. Switching to a bio-based feedstock model would both safeguard against supply dependency and generate a lower carbon footprint, create more sustainable production systems and strengthen the competitive position of the bio-based chemicals industry.

BIOFOREVER aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of bio-refining 5-lignocellulosic (LC) feedstocks – predominantly sourced from woody biomass - that can subsequently be converted into biochemical materials establishing LC biomass as a feedstock for the chemical industry.

The overall aim of the project is to prepare for construction of a commercial scale bio refinery that can be replicated, completely or in part.

Description

Objectives: 
  • To demonstrate 5 lignocellulosic (LC) value chains at pre-industrial scale including 3 new valorisation routes for co-products utilising 4 different cascading biorefinery concepts
  • To select optimal feedstocks for the 5 value chains taking into account the quality, composition matrix, price and availability of these feedstocks and their performance in 4 LC biorefinery concepts
  • To establish competitive set-ups for a cascading biorefinery process based on 4 different pre-treatment methods including further downstream processing to obtain high-quality fractions (such as cellulose, C5/C6 sugars, specialty sugars, lignin, humins) for conversion into a range of end-products.
  • To establish conversion routes from the key intermediate fractions to 5 bio-based building blocks or end products (such as butanol, resin acid, enzymes, FDCA) including valorisation routes for co-products
  • To evaluate the techno-economic performance of the value chains in order to define the optimal biorefinery set-ups for scale-up towards commercial plants.
  • To demonstrate opportunities for commercial scale follow-up, including analysis of markets and engagement with key stakeholders for different end-products as well as providing insights for the conceptual engineering design of the “winning” value chain
Expected impacts: 
  • Direct replication potential of 4 or more biorefinery concepts
  • Job creation in the agricultural/forestry sector by sourcing European biomass
  • Creation of bio-refinery technologies as export product outside the EU
  • Positioning European ports for the transition to renewables driven business
  • Competitive biobased products, which can match or outperform existing fossil-based products in terms of cost competitiveness (at par with current sugars) or product performance
  • Lignocellulosic value chains based on low carbon and sustainable pre-treatment methods